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Kodiak Maritime Museum
Banner photos courtesy Kodiak Historical Society Slifer Collection, 70-167-17-2 Learn Collection, 386-66
Historic Photos of Kodiak
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Vessels of Kodiak: A Blend of Form and Function

The vessels in Kodiak are as diverse as the island’s fisheries. Only here in the Port of Kodiak can you observe the entire range of Alaska's commercial fishing vessels. From massive 125–foot crabbers to pint-sized 32–foot gillnetters and jig vessels, these boats are a blend of form and function. Through the years, the design of many boats has been refined by hard-earned experience.

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Crab Vessels

King and tanner crab boats:

  • Range from small skiffs to larger 150-foot vessels
  • Constructed of steel
  • use 4 to 6-person crews.
  • Some boats use large 7x7-foot, 700-pound crab pots.

Dungeness crab boats:

  • Range from 42 to 60 feet.
  • Constructed of steel, wood or fiberglass.
  • Dungeness pots are round and much smaller than king and tanner crab pots.
  • Use 4 to 5-person crews.
How they fish:
  • Baited pots are lowered to ocean floor.
  • Crab are lured to pot by bait inside.
  • Pots are pulled up regularly after "soaking a few hours" and unloaded into the fish hold.
Crab Pot Fishing

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Trawler Vessels

  • Range from 58 to 120 feet.
  • Constructed of steel.
  • Use 3 to 5-person crews.
How they fish:
Trawler Vessel Fishing
  • Cone-shaped nets are towed behind the vessel to scoop fish.
  • Massive loads require heavy duty machinery – tow stanchions, winches and tow doors.

Gillnet Vessel

Gillnet Vessels

  • About 32 feet.
  • Constructed of alumninum, fiberglass or wood.
  • Use 3-person crews.
How they fish:
Gillnetter Fishing
  • Floating cork line and sinking leadline hold net vertically in water.
  • Fish are caught in the mesh by their gill flaps (hence the name "gillnetters").
  • Fish for herring or salmon.
  • Herring are shaken from net.
  • Salmon are individually picked from net.
  • Some gillnetters convert to "jigging" for cod and rockfish.

Kodiak Waterfront Guide

You'll find this information and much more in our Kodiak Waterfront Guide booklet.

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This website was developed with funding from the Kodiak Island Borough